Mandoki hops on to ‘Mr. Toad’

Stalled biopic of 'Wind in the Willows' author moves forward

Mexican helmer Luis Mandoki has boarded the long-gestating “Banking on Mr. Toad,” based on the life story of “The Wind in the Willows” author Kenneth Grahame.

Mandoki (“Innocent Voices”) will replace previously attached helmer Bruce Beresford.

Timothy Haas of HSL Film Studios is producing the $20 million pic and has also penned a screenplay chronicling Grahame’s journey from his job as the secretary of the Bank of England at the end of the 19th century through to penning the children’s tome.

Pic, which combines live-action and animation, will also look at his relationship with his wife, Elspeth, and autistic son, Alastair.

“Banking on Mr. Toad” was skedded to lens in Ireland at Ardmore Studios in 2009, but production was cancelled due to the Irish banking crisis.

Work on animation has now been greenlit and the pic, which is in pre-production, will lense in Blighty’s Pinewood Studios.

It will also shoot on location around Grahame’s Berkshire home by the River Thames and at the Bank of England in London.

Ioan Gruffudd is no longer attached; casting is expected to be announced shortly.

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